Health & Wellness

Guest Column

Addressing Anxiety in Adolescents

27f95eccbf048740ac3e_photojoanie.jpg
Maria Sikoutris Di Iorio, MA, EdS, MFT, LPC, is Clinical Director of Hellenic Therapy Center.
27f95eccbf048740ac3e_photojoanie.jpg

Anxiety can be one of the most unpleasant emotions that people feel. The word “anxiety” describes periods of fear, worry, nervousness, and restlessness.

Anxiety comes with thoughts of danger and helplessness. Life experiences, especially those that occurred in childhood and adolescence, often determine our perception and expectations of threats and vulnerability.

We react with physical symptoms to prepare us for the perceived “danger”; this is often called the fight or flight response. These symptoms can include but are not limited to rapid heartbeat, sweating, light-headedness, difficulty breathing, fatigue, nausea or abdominal distress. Anxiety moves among family members initiating a vicious cycle of worry from one family member to the next. For example children can take on their parents’ anxiety.

Sign Up for E-News

As parents notice the symptoms of anxiety in their children their own anxiety increases which in turn elevates the child’s anxiety and back again. Parenting a teenager can be very difficult. Inherently with the developmental stage of adolescence teenagers face many changes, uncertainties, and pressures. 

Physical changes in puberty perpetuate teens’ focus on body image and looks. Social acceptance and peer relationships become a priority. School responsibilities are increased and many teenagers get jobs for the first time and/or are heading for college… an area that is unknown for them.

Teens experience conflicts regarding independence as they transition from childhood to adulthood.  Sometimes anxiety in this developmental stage can become chronic and interfere with the teenager balancing academic performance with extracurricular activities and maintaining social and family relationships.

Anxiety disorders vary from teenager to teenager. Symptoms can include excessive fears and worries, feelings of social incompetence, and isolation. Teenagers may also complain of the physical symptoms previously noted.

The Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, offers individual and family therapy to assist teenagers in reducing anxiety through techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation training, and mindfulness. We follow a family systems approach to therapy and may include family members in our sessions upon consent.  Call 908-322-0112 to schedule an appointment. We are available day, evening and weekend hours. Visit www.hellenictherapy.com

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

After Bruce Patterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County Freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting Freeholder, I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered.

At the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

Track and Field: Union Catholic Girls Qualified for 3 Finals, Ran Fastest NJ Times in 3 Races at Penn Relays

April 26, 2018

PHILADELPHIA - The Union Catholic girls have a history of making their presence felt on the biggest track and field stages.

The opening day of the 124th Penn Relays on Thursday proved to be no different as UC once again showed everyone that even without Olympian Sydney McLaughlin (now starring at the University of Kentucky) the Vikings are one of the best programs in the ...